- Associated Press - Tuesday, March 10, 2015

CHICAGO (AP) - A court-ordered delay will financially harm a company chosen to grow medical marijuana in northeastern Illinois, an attorney told a Cook County judge Tuesday.

Cresco Labs’ attorney Steve Levy said a competitor, PM Rx, which pursued delays in court, should file a $2 million bond to compensate for the harm if delays are later found to be improperly granted.

The two companies want to grow medical marijuana in Kankakee, but only one will be licensed in that part of the state. Cresco Labs was the top-scoring company and the winner in the state’s permit competition. But PM Rx claims the Illinois Department of Agriculture broke its own rules when awarding permits and it should have been the winner.

Levy said Tuesday that Cresco Labs could fall behind ordering materials to grow marijuana and suffer other competitive hardships if the delay drags out. Cresco was recently added to a lawsuit.

“Every month or week that goes by is a month or week we’re going to irretrievably lose” in the race to grow medical marijuana, Levy said.

Last week, Judge Kathleen Kennedy granted a temporary restraining order that halted the state from granting a permit in a district that covers Ford, Iroquois and Kankakee counties.

Attorneys for the Department of Agriculture have appealed the ruling, saying PM Rx made only “thin allegations” and that allowing the order to stand would open the door to “every disappointed applicant” using the same standard to “challenge the Department’s permit decisions in court.”

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